Picture a tomato with a fluted, rounded shape and bright pink flesh and you’ve got an image of Zapotec pink pleated tomato plants. Their form is intriguing and beautiful but the flavor is also exceptional. The plants are said to be from the Oaxacan region in Mexico and grown by the Zapotec tribe. Try growing these funky fruits which are a conversation starter all on their own.
What is a Pink Zapotec Tomato?
Pleats, ruffles, and fluting all describe the fruit of Zapotec pink pleated tomatoes. What is a pink Zapotec tomato? This tomato variety is also known as Oaxacan Ribbed, a nod to the region and appearance of the fruits. These heirloom tomatoes are late season, so you have to wait until late summer before you can enjoy their sweet-tangy flavor.
Gardeners growing Zapotec tomatoes can expect indeterminate type plants which will vine and sprawl, requiring space and support. The fruits are a medium sized handful and have a nice balance of acid and sweet. Because they have scalloped bodies, they make a nice ruffled slice, very decorative when served with a bit of olive oil and basil. The larger fruits develop cavities inside which provides a convenient space for stuffing.
This is a heavy producer in high heat locations. Seeds are not widely available, but this is one tomato plant that is worth sourcing.
Growing Zapotec Tomatoes
Prepare a garden bed by tilling deeply and incorporating plenty of organic material. Start seeds indoors in most locations, 8 weeks prior to planting outside. Expect sprouts in 6 to 10 days. Wait until all danger of frost has passed and plants have at least two sets of true leaves before transplanting outdoors.
Harden off seedlings prior to situating them in the prepared beds. Set them outside in a sunny but protected location for 1 to 2 weeks before disturbing their roots. Gently unfurl roots in the planting hole and press soil around them, watering in well. Provide stakes or a tomato cage for support as the plant grows.
Pink Pleated Zapotec Care
You will need to manage the stems as the plant grows by training them to the support structure. Plants can grow up to 6 feet (1.8 m.) tall and will need a very sturdy structure to withstand the girth of the plant and the heavy fruits.
These are fairly drought tolerant plants but will fruit best with consistent moisture. Provide water under the leaves, at the root zone to avoid fungal issues.
Several pests are common to tomatoes. Watch for insects and combat accordingly.
Side dress plants with compost or well-rotted manure. Harvest in about 80 days. Use fruit in salsas, sauces, fresh and even roasted.